December 2018

December 2018
Posted on 12/06/2018

Dr. ArnoldSuperintendent Message

'Tis the Season
With one snow day already under our belt, the winter season is upon us and we all hope that will be the last one of those!

Now that it gets dark so much earlier, it's a good time to look for bright spots in our lives. What a fun time of year to celebrate the gifts (people) in our lives! We are fortunate to live in a community that is so supportive of our students and their schools. Our talented students, dedicated educators, and supportive parents each do their part to ensure that we are challenging, empowering, and inspiring each of our students every day.

5Essentials Survey
Your feedback as a parent is a vital component to ensuring we create healthy and successful schools for your student(s). To that end, for the seventh year in a row, we are participating in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey of Learning Conditions. Now that we have multiple years of trend data from parents, students (grades 6-8), and teachers, we are able to use the survey results to drive school improvement efforts.

To participate in this year's survey, please click here and locate the survey for your child's school. Be sure to select the correct school from the drop-down menu. If you have children at multiple District 66 schools, you may complete a separate survey for each school. The 5Essentials Survey will be available through January 18, 2019.

Focus on Our Children
In closing, I would like to wish all of our District 66 families a very happy holiday season! As I look back on the days when I had all five of my children running around our home, I remember that this can be a very hectic time of year. All too often we spend a lot of time trying to make everything "perfect" for our children. However, as a parent who has "been there, done that", I would like to remind all of us that the single most important thing we can give our children is the gift of our time. The gift of a parent's undivided attention will always be priceless in the eyes of a child. This poem has served as a reminder to me over the years, so I'd like to share it with you during the holiday season. Enjoy!

By: Isla Paschal Richardson

What shall we give the children? Christmas is almost here...
Toys and games and playthings, as we do every year?
Yes, for the magic of toyland is part of the Yuletide lore
To gladden the hearts of children, but I shall give something more.
I shall give them more patience, a more sympathetic ear,
A little more time for laughter, or tenderly dry a tear.
I shall take the time to teach them the joy of doing some task.
I shall try to find time to answer more of the questions they ask.
Time to read books together, and to take long walks in the sun...
Time for a bedtime story after the day is done.
I shall give these to my children, weaving a closer tie...
Knitting our lives together with gifts that money can't buy.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy 2019!

Tim Arnold

Tim Arnold, Ph.D.

Follow on Twitter: @timarnoldsupt and @ccsd66
Follow on Facebook: Center Cass School District 66

Hazardous Winter Weather and School Closing Information

District 66 staff pays close attention to weather conditions throughout the school year. When hazardous weather conditions prompt District 66 to cancel school, we will use several tools to notify parents, staff, and community members.School Closings

Parents and staff will be notified of school closings through our automated phone and email system. If your phone number or email has changed since the beginning of school, please update your information in your child's PowerSchool account. School closure information will also be posted online at and on the District 66 Facebook page. The district will notify the following radio/TV stations: WBBM 780, WGN 720, CBS Ch. 2, NBC Ch. 5, ABC Ch. 7, WGN Ch. 9, Fox 32, and CLTV. School closure information will also be posted at

With winter weather already upon us, now is the time to prepare for the hazards that come with extreme winter weather conditions. Get ready for winter with these safety tips and reminders:

  • Check your local ordinance for parking restrictions due to snow. It is against most ordinances to shovel or blow snow into the street, sidewalk, or any right-of-way.
  • Be a good neighbor and shovel your sidewalks and any nearby fire hydrants, if you are able. This also helps students walk safely to their bus stops.
  • Avoid driving during snow events if possible, but if you must go out, keep water and blankets in your car and keep the gas tank full.
  • Make sure your vehicle has adequate tire tread to avoid getting stuck.
  • Place a snow shovel in your trunk. You never know when you might need one during your travels.
  • Keep children from playing in snow banks along the road. Children may tumble onto the road in front of cars or snow plows.
  • When shoveling the end of your driveway where it meets the road, also clear a 10-foot strip along the curb to the left (when facing the road) to avoid snow plows pushing it back across your driveway. Click here to watch a helpful video describing this.

The safety of our students, staff, and your family are paramount. Please stay safe this winter!

District News

NGSSNGSS Parent Presentation Available Online
Did you miss the Next Generation Science Standards and Amplify Science Parent Night on November 6th? Click here to watch a video of the presentation or click here for the presentation slides.

Social Emotional Learning
District 66 continues to incorporate the practice of Growth Mindset and Social Emotional Learning in everything we do with both students and adults. November’s Growth Mindset was focused on “We love a challenge”. As the holiday season is upon us, how can you foster this growth mindset at home? Perhaps your family is working together to raise money for someone less fortunate. At school, we talk about how something might be hard and we haven’t achieved it “yet”. The Social Emotional Learning focus this month is on relationship skills. A big piece of developing relationship skills is empathy. Empathy helps us understand and feel with others. Empathy is our ability to understand others’ feelings and needs. It is also the foundation of a safe, caring, and inclusive climate (ASCD, October 2018). Research has shown that students with high levels of empathy display more classroom engagement, higher academic achievement, and better communication skills.

Save the Date for the 2nd Annual Parent University District 66 is proud to announce our Second Annual Parent University! This year’s event will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019. The keynote speaker will be Adam Russo, LCSW. Adam is the Chairman & CEO of Edgewood Clinical Services in Naperville, Plainfield, and Lisle. Adam is also the author of Unwritten Rules:  Real Strategies to Parent Your Child into a Successful Adult. Additional details will be forthcoming, but you do not want to miss this event. Mark your calendars now.

Nominations for Gifted Services
Nominations are now open for the 2019-2020 school year for students currently in 2nd through 7th grades. Please complete the parent nomination form if you believe your child is performing, or shows the potential for performing, at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment, and you would like your child's performance and achievement to be reviewed to determine eligibility for gifted education services. Please click here for more information. Completed nomination forms must be received no later than Friday, December 21. 

Honoring our Veterans

Ide flagOnce again this year, Center Cass School District 66 proudly celebrated Veterans Day with special flag ceremonies, assemblies, and classroom activities focusing on the meaning and significance of Veterans Day. Veterans were invited to participate in these activities at each of the three schools. Thank you to all of the veterans (and their families) that attended our school assemblies. Students and staff were honored to host them and show our gratitude to all veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Veterans Day
Veterans Day  
Veterans Day

Student News

19th Annual District 66 Winter Invitational Band Festival
The District 66 band program hosted its 19th Annual Winter Invitational Band Festival on Saturday, Dec. 1st. Band Director Tom Tedeschi started the festival in 1999 with 5 bands. It was designed to give young bands some experience performing in a “competitive” setting. Each performing group is given 30 minutes to perform 3 selections for a judge/clinician. The judge gives each group feedback on their performance and then spends some time working with them. It is truly an educational experience for the students and directors.

This year the festival has grown to 17 bands! The popularity of the festival required the use of both Prairieview and Lakeview. There were over 850 performing students and more than 1,600 visitors. This festival could not have happened without the help of the District 66 Music Boosters, more than 40 parent volunteers, and at least 45 student helpers who served as band guides and set up crews.

This year our clinicians were Mr. Mark Corey from Addison Trail High School, Mr. Philip Hash from Illinois State University, and Mr. Kirk Hickman from Naperville North High School.

Congratulations to all of the bands who attended the festival:

Lace Elementary (Darien), Eisenhower JHS (Darien), Prairieview Elementary (Downers Grove), Lakeview JHS 6th Grade (Downers Grove), Woodridge 68 Elementary (Woodridge), District 111(Burbank), District 58 Northside Band (Downers Grove), Indian Trail 6th Grade(Addison), O’Neill MS (Downers Grove), Herrick MS (Downers Grove), Burbank Dist. 111 7th and 8th grade (Burbank), Jefferson JHS (Woodridge), Hauser JHS (Riverside), District 109 Elementary (Justice), and Wilkins JHS (Justice).
Winter Invitational  
Winter Invitational

FMSCPrairieview Panthers Giving Back this Season at FMSC
Prairieview staff, students, and their families participated in an evening of community service at Feed My Starving Children on November 14th. Our students have been working diligently to be safe, respectful, and responsible this year to build a positive school community. The Feed My Starving Children event was not only a fun, interactive night for staff, students, and parents but it was also a great opportunity for our school community to work together toward helping children in malnourished communities around the world get the food they need.
Prairieview Panthers

Lakeview Students Spread Holiday Cheer
Members of the Lakeview Jr. High School Choir and Memory Makers Club spread lots of holiday cheer while visiting with residents of Sunrise Senior Living in Willowbrook on Wednesday, December 5th. Happy Holidays!

Notes from District Nurse Jinsun BaekStop the flu
We have officially entered the flu season! Let's keep our schools healthy and fight the flu together! Influenza is a contagious disease of the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs) that can lead to serious complications, including pneumonia and the worsening of other chronic health conditions (asthma). Flu symptoms may include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle/body aches. Please keep your child home if he or she has a fever or is exhibiting respiratory (for example, coughing a lot) and stomach symptoms (for example, diarrhea)! Please remember that district policy indicates a child with a fever must stay home until he or she has gone 24 hours fever-free without medication. We can protect and strengthen our immunity by eating nutritious foods, working out daily (for example, daily walks), sleeping enough at night (8-10 hours), reducing stress, and SMILING daily! :)

We can also fight the flu together by practicing the following:
  1. Wash hands with soap and water (if possible), or use sanitizer frequently
  2. Disinfect table tops, desks, doorknobs, and other areas you come in contact with the most
  3. Always cover when you sneeze or cough
  4. If running a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, stay home
  5. Stay well hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet
  6. Contact a doctor if severe symptoms persist
  7. It's not too late to get your flu shots

Hope we all enjoy a healthy holiday season!

PV Thankful Tree

District PTO News

PTO trivia nightDistrict 66 PTO Trivia Night - January 25, 2019
Save the date for District 66 PTO's adults-only social event on January 25, 2019. Start forming your teams of 8-10 people for Trivia Night! More details to follow soon.
December District PTO Eat Out Fundraiser - Nothing Bundt Cakes
Our December '18 District Eat Out Fundraiser will be a bit different! We've partnered with Nothing Bundt Cakes for an entire week! For the week of Monday, 12/10 through Saturday, 12/15, you will have the opportunity to PRE-ORDER your birthday or holiday cakes. They accommodate every occasion. Drop-in, call, or order online and remember to mention the flyer. 30% of any purchase will be donated back to the school district. Happy Holidays!!

District 66 PTO is Looking for Volunteers!
Are you interested in joining a committee for the spring Online Auction? We will have our first committee meeting on Monday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m. at Roundheads on 75th Street. We are looking for volunteers to organize the auction, request outside donations and/or teacher donations, enter auction items into an online format, etc. If you feel you could help in any way, it is much appreciated! New ideas are always welcome! Looking forward to making this a super successful fundraiser for the schools. Please contact Stephanie Potter at if you plan to attend the meeting. Thanks!

Amazon Smile Fundraiser Program

The District 66 PTO would like you to consider supporting our schools while you shop on Amazon. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Simply choose "Center Cass District 66 PTO" to designate your charity. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know - same products, same prices, same service. Support Center Cass District 66 PTO by starting your shopping at Please use the following link to begin your shopping and make a donation without spending anything extra!

TEAM 66 Education Foundation News

TEAM 66 Casino Night - March 2, 2019
Save the date for our 2nd Annual Casino Night being held on Saturday, March 2nd. This year's event will bring even more adult-only fun, food, and entertainment. Stay tuned for more details. Are you part of a local business that would like to help sponsor Casino Night? Please contact to learn more about our various sponsorship opportunities.

TEAM 66 Needs You!
TEAM 66 is looking for anyone who may be interested in joining the board in January 2019. There will be a social get together with current members on Thursday, December 13th at 7:30 p.m. Please contact Indrani Hausner at if you would like more information. TEAM 66 benefits Center Cass School District 66 by providing funds for educational programs and activities, which are not funded by the normal operating budget. These funds are used to facilitate student achievement and skill development, to recognize and encourage staff excellence and to expand community involvement from individuals, businesses, and civic organizations. Money raised through various fundraising efforts will help fund innovative teaching grants that will provide resources directly to the classroom for teachers to implement exciting new educational programs. Please visit the TEAM 66 website at for more information on the foundation and future events.

TEAM 66 Permanent Savers FunDrive Shed

Getting rid of unwanted clothes, kitchen items, towels, sheets, and blankets? Don't forget about the permanent TEAM 66 Savers shed located on the southeast corner of the parking lot at Prairieview (3rd grade door). This is a great opportunity to clear out your closets, drawers, and cabinets while supporting the continued efforts of TEAM 66. Simply bag any of your unwanted clothing, shoes, belts, purses, CDs, DVDs, kitchen items, sheets, blankets, linens, and towels and drop them in the shed. There is a door/hatch on the side of the shed for easy access. All goods collected through our year-long FunDrive are sold to Savers and they, in turn, will pay TEAM 66 by the pound for qualifying donations.

2018-19 Grants
We encourage you to visit to learn about the exciting grants we funded for the 2018-19 school year.

Commemorative Brick Program
TEAM 66 Education Foundation has installed a commemorative brick path from the sidewalk in front of Prairieview to the Center Cass 66 bell to give families the opportunity to create a remembrance of their positive experience in our school district. The bricks will be engraved with a family name or student name(s) and graduation year(s). The path was installed in September 2015 using approximately 400 total bricks (approximately 300 commemorative bricks and approximately 100 blank border bricks). The bricks are available in 4x8x2.25" for $150 or 8x8x2.25" for $250. Each year, we will replace blank bricks with any engraved bricks purchased during the year. Each brick can be custom engraved with 3 lines consisting of 13 characters per line. The 8x8x2.25" bricks will also have "TEAM 66 Sponsor" engraved on the brick.

TEAM 66 Jr. Sponsor


4x4" commemorative brick displayed at Lakeview/Prairieview Campus and TEAM 66 car decal - Contact us for a brick order form!

TEAM 66 Sr. Sponsor


8x4” commemorative brick displayed at Lakeview/Prairieview Campus and TEAM 66 car decal - Contact us for a brick order form!

Community News

community band concertCenter Cass Community Band Holiday Concert - December 16, 2018
The Center Cass Community Band would like to invite you to our annual Holiday Concert at Lakeview Jr. High School on Sunday, December 16 at 4:00 p.m. This concert will feature both sacred and secular favorites for the entire family. Please plan on joining us to ring in the holidays with your friends and family. Light refreshments will be served following the performance. We are once again teaming up with the West Suburban Community Pantry to collect non perishable food items at this concert to help those in need during this holiday season. For more information about the Center Cass Community Band, go to New members are always welcome!

Soap Donations Accepted Through Friday, December 7
Soap items are being collected by the Darien Woman's Club to be included with the Darien Lions Club Food Basket Project. Items needed include liquid hand soap, bar soap, body wash, laundry soap, liquid dish soap, shampoo, and conditioner. Soap items can be brought to Elizabeth Ide, Prairieview, or Lakeview through Friday, December 7, 2018. Thank you for your community spirit and generosity.

Metra's 2018-19 Safety Poster and Essay Contestmetra contest
Show us why you should "Use Your Senses" when around trains and railroad tracks. Metra's theme for the 2018-2019 school year: "Use Your Senses" emphasizes the importance of being aware and using all your senses -- including common sense -- when around trains and railroad tracks. Metra's safety poster and essay contests are open to students in grades K-12. Click here for more information. The deadline for all entries is Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.
Want to Become a Substitute Teacher?

If you are a qualified substitute teacher and are ready to begin working in District 66, please contact Diana Goldstein at or (630) 783-5155. For more information on becoming a substitute teacher in DuPage County, contact the DuPage Regional Office of Education at (630) 407-5800 or click here.

Center Cass Community Connections
District 66 strives to keep all of our community members informed about the outstanding education we provide our students, as well as partnership opportunities with our residents. If you are not currently a student, family, or staff member of District 66, but would like to receive district newsletters, Board of Education updates, or occasional public service announcements, please click here to subscribe to our District 66 Community List.

Upcoming Events

December 4:  Early Dismissal - SIP Day
December 10-15:  District PTO Eat Out Fundraiser, Darien Nothing Bundt Cakes
December 11:  Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Prairieview
December 16:  Center Cass Community Band Holiday Concert, 4:00 p.m. at Lakeview
December 24:  Winter Break Begins
January 7:  Classes Resume
January 8:  Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Prairieview
January 21:  No School - Martin Luther King's Birthday
January 22:  Board Committee of the Whole Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Prairieview
January 25:  District 66 PTO Trivia Night
January 31:  Early Dismissal - SIP Day